According to Wakefield Research’s recently released Internet of Healthcare Report, nearly half of all clinicians believe paperwork will be eliminated from the U.S. healthcare landscape within five years. (Not scaled back or reduced—eliminated.) 58% believe data entry will be fully automated within the same timeframe.
It’s no coincidence that the same report points out that 92% of clinicians think administrative work is a major contributor to healthcare worker burnout.
Why are paper-based processes viewed so negatively by today’s clinicians? That’s a subject I’ll be exploring in my new webinar on February 17: 3 Ways eConsent Helps Overcome Staff Shortages.
Adopting digital processes isn’t just about saving your staff from burnout, however—eConsent also improves patients’ experiences and even makes a measurable impact on a hospital’s profitability. Here’s a quick preview.
eConsent is more efficient for hospital staffers
A hospital nurse I know—who does not work for an Interlace Health client—has worked with both paper-based and digital consent processes, and she’s all-in on digital. She’s used eConsent in every hospital scenario and loves how simple it makes the process.
“Say it’s a simple blood draw,” she says. “You want to be able to walk in, scan the patient’s wristband, click the form that you want on a tablet and have it auto-populate their information so they can just sign it. Boom, it’s archived away.”
During my webinar, I’ll discuss three scenarios—from the simplest to the most complex—and how eConsent makes each more efficient for hospital staffers:
- Inpatient test consent
- Consent to treat
- Surgical consent
In all these scenarios, eConsent streamlines nurses’ workflows, so they spend less time on paperwork and more time helping patients. As my friend explains, “I go into the room with a tablet and I pull up the patient. Right away I see which forms I need to get signed, and I can get that done at the same time I’m doing my typical workflow for visiting the patient.”
With nurses fleeing the business, improving their workflows with eConsent is a great way to keep them on board.
Paper consent errors hurt patient experience
If you’ve ever had inpatient surgery, you know it’s an ordeal before you even show up. You’ve taken time off work for the procedure and recovery. You’ve made arrangements for your spouse, the kids, and the dog for as long as it will take you to get back on your feet. You’re nervous—maybe terrified—and you’ve been fasting for at least 12 hours.
Now imagine, just as you’re about to get started, there’s a delay. A form is missing, or they gave you the wrong one to sign, or it’s stuck in the wrong file. Depending on which state you’re in, this delay could be a few minutes, or a few hours, or as long as 14 days.
Maybe you just have to sign some forms again. Or maybe you have to wait two weeks and do everything all over again—just because of an error in paper-based consent.
Unfortunately, that experience is hardly rare. Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that consent forms were missing for 66% of surgical patients, which resulted in one out of ten cases being delayed.
Of course, eConsent can’t guarantee a positive patient experience—but it can eliminate a common cause of negative patient experience.
eConsent keeps procedures on schedule
Delayed procedures aren’t just an annoying patient experience, of course. They’re devastating to a hospital’s bottom line.
A JAMA Surgery study has found that one minute of operating room time costs an average $36 to $37. Multiply that figure by the length and frequency of delays, and then by the total number of procedures your hospital performs each year, and the total cost of surgical delays turns into a significant hit to your bottom line.
I perform ROI analyses such as this all the time. Here’s an example: One hospital, performing an average of 14 surgeries a day, discovered nearly $200,000 in losses over the course of a year. Larger hospitals can experience losses in excess of $2 million.
Add that to the costs of printing, scanning, and shredding paper consent forms—plus your staff’s time to manage all that—and you can see the immediate bottom-line advantage an eConsent process can bring to your organization. It’s the kind of advantage Interlace Health has been helping hospitals realize for more than 30 years.
Want to reduce the stress on your staff? Improve patient experience? Eliminate losses from delayed procedures?
Please join me for 3 Ways eConsent Helps Overcome Staff Shortages on February 17.